do you need a degree to be good at what you do?

Still reading through Tribe of Hackers. I, like most everyone, definitely holds back on punches when it comes to the, “Do you need a degree/certification…? question. So it was a nice moment this morning to read up on some industry blogs to run across Harlan Carvey swing and hit on his responses to the questions in that book, particularly about needing a degree/cert. I think he’s right, but it’s important to note the clarifier: ” Do you need a degree to be good at what you do?”

That said, all of his other answers are wonderful, too! Of particular note are tidbits about engaging on social media, mentoring and sharing, realizing that we make some mountains bigger than they are, and bosses don’t like surprises!

That sort of reminds me of the old school way the sysadmins are born. Often, a more senior admin will get a junior-ish new hire and throw them into the fire without much help. Basically sink or swim. No one really liked that, but it just sort of happened, probably since back then many of us tech geeks were socially awkward…hence being in IT! Today, mentoring in any formal or informal fashion is the way to win allies and friends. Transparency is a close cousin.

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